Space Ramblings

Can Amazon Beat Apple?

The launch of Amazon’s MP3 store much like the launch of Wal-Mart’s own MP3 store is making all the usual waves and generating the usual stories about the big retail giants, one brick and mortar and the other digital, giving Apple Inc the old beat down. What those stories of course as usual don’t get is that Amazon and Wal-Mart are both playing off an old model and they aren’t going to beat Apple which is busy creating its own model.

Wal-Mart will probably move a few MP3’s and Amazon will do better, since unlike Wal-Mart, Amazon is an ecommerce hub but all of them miss the point. You can’t successfully music via the old retail methodologies anymore than you could sell it via the old CD route, as Tower Records has found out and as Virgin Megastore, sooner or later will too… as its cool image fades.

By breaking down music to individual song files and recreating them as a downloadable experience, iTunes has simply become Napster for pay, a way for users to easily download and get music… this time for a price. Selling individual songs via a website by contrast is clunky and outside the user experience.

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